Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the CCO of Job Creators Network Elaine Parker to the newsmakers line.
At the end of the first hour, Parker discussed the censorship that the Job Creators Network experienced 15 days ago as their social media account on Twitter continues to be suspended for no reason. She explained that they were told they violated Twitter’s manipulation and spam policy and have been unable to talk to a human being about the issue. Parker insisted that the site remains non-political and non-partisan and after a further internal review, could not find anything that violated any of the Big Tech policies.
Leahy: We are joined by our good friend Elaine Parker on our newsmaker line. Chief communications officer for Job Creators Network which is the number one representative of small business owners in the United States. Good morning Elaine.
Parker: Good morning Michael. How are you?
Leahy: I am great. Can you bring us up to speed on what has happened with the Twitter censoring of the Job Creators Network account? It turns out that your CEO Alfredo Ortiz a great guy penned an op-ed advocating that Big Tech companies should be regulated like utilities and shortly thereafter they shut your Twitter account down. Can you give us an update on what’s happening with your Twitter account?
Parker: Yeah. So this was kind of a head-scratcher for us. As you know, Michael the Job Creators Network is a pro-free-market organization and we represent the 30 million small business owners in this country and we advocate on their behalf for lower taxes and fewer regulations, and just pro-business policies.
We are a nonpartisan organization so we don’t endorse candidates but we do unapologetically support free enterprise and capitalism. And on January 28 our Twitter page was suspended for no apparent reason. We just received an email basically in the afternoon that said we had violated their manipulation and spam policy. But we did an internal review and nothing that we have done violated anything of the kind. Frankly, no one really knows what that means. And here we are on day 15 and we have heard zero from them.
Leahy: Your Twitter account is still not active. Is that right?
Parker: That is correct.
Leahy: This is the problem with these guys. They are arbitrary. And if they don’t like it they shut you down and then never talk to you. By the way for our listeners, you can learn more about Job Creators Network at jobcreatorsnetwork.com. And this tagline is absolutely correct. If you go to the website, you’ll see the Job Creators Network 2020: Fighting for the Survival of America’s Small Businesses. And I think that’s just where we are, isn’t it Elaine?
Parker: Absolutely. I mean, we basically fear that our criticism of policies like higher taxes and government-run healthcare and regulations made us a target. And then our CEO Alfredo Ortiz when he penned that op-ed, we were watching conservatives and conservative voices and only conservative voices being censored on social media.
And so when he penned that op-ed he was advocating not for Section 230 to be repealed because we believe that would actually lead to more censorship. We were advocating that they be regulated like a utility much like AT&T is regulated. And then it wouldn’t matter. They would have the protections that they need from content on their site within their rules of no violence and no breaking the law, but they would have the protections but they wouldn’t be able to decide what language they liked and what they didn’t like and what they agreed with.
Because you know social media has become the new town square of the century and unfortunately the First Amendment protections in the Constitution do not protect voices on social media. These are private companies. And we’ve seen competition try but they got shut down too.
Leahy: Yeah, that’s very interesting. And Job Creators Network through Alfredo Ortiz the CEO and through you the chief communications officer been a great voice for small businesses. It’s so vital that small businesses serve not only survive but thrive because our economic engine of growth is driven by small businesses. And yet Elaine, it seems at every corner mainstream media, Big Tech, the Democratic administration, and now of Joe Biden is doing everything possible to stomp out small businesses. Is that the way you see it?
Parker: Yeah, I mean, we just think that social media companies should be regulated like utilities and if they want protection from liability, then they need to be committed to fairness. So you either get to be a publisher like a paper or something like that in the media where you are liable for the content and you have to manage what you’re putting out there or you’re a platform and you are a town square and you have to be committed to fairness.
And we understand the community rule, but you have to be committed to fairness. You can’t just be censoring conservative voices. And as you know, you can turn on any station across the country and read any paper across the country and any online publication and you will only find conservative voices that are being censored. You will not find a single liberal voice who says my Facebook page got shut down or my Twitter account got shut down. And again, we’re at day 15.
They’ve literally silenced 30 million small business owners because what we’re advocating for is better policies for small business owners. We don’t talk about politics. We never even weighed in on the election and the allegations surrounding the fraud. There’s nothing on our Twitter page about that and they won’t even talk to us. We can’t get a human being on the phone.
Leahy: I hear that often Twitter, Facebook, and Google when you get into a dispute with them and you get an email back and not a live human being at all. Now, what is your plan to get the message of Job Creators Network out fighting for the survival of America’s small businesses? What’s your plan to get your message out given the fact that you’ve been shut down and censored by Twitter?
Parker: Well, I mean, we’re still on Facebook. I actually still have my Twitter account up and active on my personal account. And we’re on Instagram as well. So, I mean we are out there. And we do a lot of media. We actually have our small business owners who we put out in the media. We had a small business owner on FOX yesterday with Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer and she was talking about how the minimum wage was going to impact her business. And so what we’re trying to do is promote those messages and educate people on policies and how they impact jobs.
And that’s what’s being shut down. Education on how some of these policies coming out of the new administration will impact not only jobs, but small business. Especially small businesses after they’ve just been decimated by these pandemic shutdowns across the country. And that’s what we’re fighting for. And there’s no reason to silence us. I mean we’re fighting for the little guys here.
Leahy: Elaine Parker, chief communications officer with Job Creators Network. Thanks so much for joining us. And will you come back in the near future with an update to see if Twitter has reactivated your account and if there’s any chance of free and fair speech in America in 2021?
Parker: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Listen to the first hour here:
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